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Power Protection

A lot of people, including IT professionals, do not realise the importance of having a quality power supply for your computer equipment. If you have power problems such as brownouts, surges, black outs and other problems you cannot detect, then chances are you are causing damage to your equipment or currently having problems such as reboots, freezing etc.

Implementing power protection is relatively straight forward and a great insurance policy. The most common device used is a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply).

What is a UPS?
A UPS is a device designed to maintain the quality and continuity of power. By "quality" we mean eliminating power surges & sags (or brownouts) electrical noise, power spikes and other electrical interference. "Continuity" refers to battery backup that allows you to either work through a blackout or give enough time to save your data and shut down in an orderly fashion. The difference between UPS types and brands is how well this is done.

UPS Types
A UPS works by converting AC power (mains) into DC using a rectifier, this charges the batteries. When power fails the DC voltage from the batteries is changed back to AC by an inverter, which then supplies the computer or other devices. There are two types of UPS commonly in use, On-Line and Off-Line. Off-Line is divided into two categories, Line Interactive and Standby.

On-Line Technology
In an On-Line UPS the load is supplied by the inverter at all times, therefore ensuring a pure sine wave. In the event of a mains failure there is no delay in battery power coming on-line. As the On-Line UPS provides a regulated supply it is recommended for use with generators (which generally put out high frequency fluctuations and distortion as well as voltage fluctuation, other UPS are not designed to handle this). For server equipment Cybercomp will always recommend an On-Line UPS for superior protection and reliability.

Line Interactive Technology
Probably the most common UPS in the market place and being used in small business is the Line Interactive type UPS. This UPS monitors and regulates the mains power (to varying degrees depending on the brand of UPS) and switches on the inverter when power fails to provide battery backup. This switching or transfer time can mean the difference between effective protection or not. The Nikko UPS that Cybercomp supply have a reaction time of less that 2ms. This is the most critical measurement when comparing different Line Interactive UPS. A lot of UPS manufactures do not state what the reaction time is.

Standby Technology
This is a very basic form of protection against surges only and battery backup. Cybercomp does not supply or recommend the use of these units.

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